New Glarus, WI
Flash a six-pack of Spotted Cow smuggled across state lines to a Wisconsin native, watch them politely attempt to rob you, and you’ll get a sense of the state’s devotion to this brewery, now in its third decade of brewing excellence. Fruit beers like Raspberry Tart and Serendipity draw the most fanfare among the beer geek set, but then they went and dropped Scream (a double IPA) this summer and, of course, nailed it. They’ve steadily eschewed expansion opportunities, noting they can barely keep up with demand in their home state.
Grand Rapids, MI
The Grand Rapids outfit combines with Bell’s and a host of other breweries to make Western Michigan one of the country’s true brewing hotbeds. Their Kentucky and Canadian Breakfast Stouts have developed into genuine objects of obsession, but they don’t shine solely when it comes to the heavy stuff. Their now ubiquitous All Day IPA is a lawnmower beer that will please even the staunchest beer snob.